Citigroup to pay Freddie Mac $395 million on suspect mortgages

Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:39pm EDT

A Citi sign is seen at the Citigroup stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A Citi sign is seen at the Citigroup stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc on Wednesday said it agreed to pay $395 million to Freddie Mac to resolve claims of potential flaws in roughly 3.7 million mortgages it sold to the housing finance company from 2000 to 2012.

Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank, said the settlement also covers potential future claims arising from the loans bought by Freddie Mac, a large purchaser and guarantor of home loans.

The deal follows an agreement by Citigroup in July to pay $968 million to settle similar claims by Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. mortgage finance company. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bailed out by the federal government in 2008.

"Today's agreement with Freddie Mac marks another important milestone in successfully resolving Citi's remaining legacy mortgage issues," Jane Fraser, chief executive of CitiMortgage, said in a statement.

Freddie Mac also praised the settlement. "The agreement is an equitable one that resolves legacy repurchase issues, and allows both companies to move forward," Freddie Mac spokesman Tom Fitzgerald said.

Citigroup said the payment is covered by its existing mortgage repurchase reserves.

The New York-based bank received three federal bailouts in 2008 and 2009, and has since been shedding or scaling back in some of its higher-risk, slower-growing businesses.

Many banks including Citigroup sold millions of home loans to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which in turn packaged them into securities that could be sold to investors.

In selling mortgages loans, banks make representations and warranties such as how well the loans were underwritten, and whether the borrowers can afford them. Banks can be forced to repurchase soured loans if those claims prove wrong.

Mounting losses from troubled loans were a key factor in the 2008 bailouts of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Wednesday's settlement does not free Citigroup from liability on servicing the loans, and excludes fewer than 1,000 loans that carry special contractual rights and obligations.

In January, Bank of America agreed to pay Fannie Mae $3.6 billion to compensate for troubled home loans and to buy back an additional $6.75 billion of loans.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Gary Hill and Leslie Adler)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
So let me see if I’ve got this right, $hti Financial pays out a measly billion dollars and change and they’re off the hook?
What about the 100s of thousands of people who have already lost their homes to the predator banks “unsafe and unsound practices”?
What about the remaining loans that have yet to be revealed as fraudulent, due to intentional forgeries, Notary fraud, filing a false instrument for recording, Bank, Wire, Mail and SEC fraud for all those people who still don’t realize their mortgages contracts are invalid.
Someone should write a story extrapolating the existing numbers we know about mortgage fraud perpetrated by bank employees their agents and assigns. Boy oh boy that would really be something… .
Hey wait a minute, that gives me an idea-

Sep 25, 2013 6:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:
‘Selling’ mortgages among federally-backed institutions should be illegal. Banks should originate their own loans, accept the risk and the wait, and collect the interest. That’s what banking is. If you don’t have money to lend, you’re not a bank. Anything else is the voodoo crap that got us here.

Sep 26, 2013 12:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.